No one would be happy about scuffs and scrapes on their hardwood floors, and most surfaces are simply not suitable for tap dance!
It is incredibly important for tap dancers to practice and perform on sprung wood floors to create quality sound, and protect their bodies.
James says, "The boards I build are made of single sheets of MDF (medium density fiberboard) with double-layer foam squares attached to the underside. These foam squares make my boards sprung surfaces, meaning that when dancers jump and land on them, some of that force is absorbed by the board, keeping dancers’ joints and bodies safer. MDF is a “faster" surface to dance on, meaning that the wood has less grip on your shoes, and it is easier to slide around on. If students prefer a less slippery surface, I can make adjustments, and the boards will become “slower” with use. I make different sized boards, including 2’x2’ ($50), 3’x2’ ($60), and 4’x3’ ($70). They are lighter than plywood, portable, have great sound quality, and are wonderful surfaces for dance! "
A more premium source that James recommends for dance surfaces is anything from O’Mara Sprung Floors (https://sprungfloors.com/product-category/wooden-dance-floors/tap-dance-floors/), which are around $200+ for most of their options. These are professional grade boards that provide amazing sound quality and will last for many years when properly maintained.
Students are also welcome to build their own dance surfaces and experiment with different woods!